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Publications of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem 








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The Magnes Press 

The Hebrew University 

Jerusalem 1991 

ISSN 0080-8369 

Printed in Israel 
at Daf-Noy Press, Jerusalem 



I.M. Diakonoff 
Moshe Elat 

Israel Eph'al 
Paul Garelli 

* Erie Leichty 
E. Lipiriski 
Mario Liverani 

^ Nadav Na'aman 

^ Moshe Weinfeld 
Ran Zadok 


no n»: The Cities of the Medes 

Phoenician Overland Trade within the 
Mesopotamian Empires 

"The Samarian(s)" in the Assyrian Sources 

The Achievement of Tiglath-pileser III: 
Novelty or Continuity? 

Esarhaddon's "Letter to the Gods" 

The Cypriot Vassals of Esarhaddon 

The Trade Network of Tyre according to 

Forced Participation in Alliances in the Course 
of the Assyrian Campaigns to the West 

Semiramis: Her Name and her Origin 

Elements of Aramean Pre-history 


N Mordechai Cogan A Plaidoyer on behalf of the Royal Scribes 

? Frederick Mario Fales Narrative and Ideological Variations in the 
Account of Sargon's Eighth Campaign 

William W. Hallo The Death of Kings: Traditional 

Historiography in Contextual Perspective 

Tomoo Ishida The Succession Narrative and Esarhaddon's 

Apology: A Comparison 












Sarah Japhet 

S.N. Kramer 
Peter Machinist 

Alan R. Millard 

Bustanay Oded 

Tsvi Abusch 

Pinhas Artzi 
Dietz Otto Edzard 

A, Kirk Grayson 

Moshe Greenberg 

Jonas C. Greenfield 
Thorkild Jacobsen 
Jacob Klein 

W.G. Lambert 
William L, Moran 

Benjamin Mazar 

"History" and "Literature" in the Persian 
Period: The Restoration of the Temple 

Solomon and Sulgi: A Comparative Portrait 

The Question of Distinctiveness in Ancient 
Israel: An Essay 

Large Numbers in the Assyrian Royal 

"The Command of the God" as a Reason for 
Going to War in the Assyrian Royal 


The Ritual Tablet and Rubrics of Maqlti: 
Toward the History of the Series 

ASsur-uballif and the Sutians 

Sargon's Report on Kish. A Problem in 
Akkadian Philology 

Old and Middle Assyrian Royal Inscriptions — 

Nebuchadnezzar and the Parting of the Ways: 
Ezek. 21:26-27 

Asylum at Aleppo: A Note on Sfire III, 4-7 

Abstruse Sumerian 

The Coronation and Consecration of Sulgi in 
the Ekur (Sulgi G) 

An Unknown King in an Unknown City 

Assurbanipal's Message to the Babylonians 
(ABL301), with an Excursus on Figurative 

Autobiographical Reflections of a University 

List of Contributors 

Bibliography of the Works of Hayim Tadmor 













To mark the occasion of the sixty-fifth birthday of Hayim Tadmor (in November 
1988), collegues and friends from East and West have joined together in the 
present collection of essays which reflect the multi-faceted nature of his scholarly 

A major focus of this work has been the investigation of the ideological patterns 
in the Assyrian historical inscriptions. In concluding a recent study, Tadmor 
noted that 

...the formulae we have discussed are thus our best, and sometimes our only 
available source for tracing the changing self-image of the Assyrian 
monarch, which in itself is indicative of the changes in the royal court and 
among the scribes. In that sense, the new reality they created is of no less 
significance than the often concealed historical reality which they purport 
to relate (ARINH, 33). 

He gave expression here, perhaps instinctively, to one of the central pillars and 
raison d'Stre of his distinguished scholarly career. 

Tadmor is first and foremost a historian. During his early studies at the Hebrew 
University in Jerusalem, he already concentrated in Bible and History 
(1943-1949). At the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of 
London (1951-1952), he began a career-long specialization in Assyriology. After 
receiving his PhD in Jerusalem (1955), he pursued postgraduate work at the 
Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (1955-1957) under the tutelage 
of Benno Landsberger. Tadmor then returned to Jerusalem, to lecture in Near 
Eastern studies and to found the Department of Assyriology at the Hebrew 
University, with which he has been associated until the present. He has been a 
frequent lecturer at universities in the United States, Canada and in Europe. In 
recognition of his scholarly achievements, he was elected to the Israel Academy of 
Sciences and Humanities in 1985 and the American Oriental Society in 1986. 

Tadmor ranks as one of the leading authorities on the history of Mesopotamia 
during the first millennium B.C.E. In particular, he has developed models for the 
study of the major corpus of that history, the Assyrian royal inscriptions, with a 
view towards defining their ideological trends and the techniques of literary 
transmission; his models have become the accepted norm for the analysis of these 

Tadmor's work on ancient historiography integrates both Mesopotamian as 
well as biblical sources. Early on, Tadmor recognized the significance of 
chronology for understanding the affairs of state and so, he has periodically 



returned to refine his system of Biblical Chronology with the aid of extra-biblical 
records. He has lavished special attention upon the Assyrian monarch Tiglath- 
pileser III, during whose reign Israel was first brought under direct Assyrian rule; 
in dozens of Vorarbeiten, he consulted the excavator's notebooks in order to 
restore the order of the surviving fragmentary texts and now has prepared a 
definitive edition of the Inscriptions ofTiglath-pileser III, in press. His studies of 
the history of Israel and its land range from the pre-Monarchic period until the 
Restoration, with special emphasis on the history of the Neo-Assyrian and 
Achaemenid empires in the West. In addition to their political aspects, Tadmor 
paints a lucid picture of social and cultural trends in Israel and Assyria. 

It is the wish of the contributors and editors of this volume that our jubilarian 
will find in it material of interest and relevance to advance his own work. As 
Daniel and his friends in their day, "proficient in the writings and language of the 
Chaldeans," may he enjoy long and happy years "with knowledge and 
intelligence" in the service of God and man. 

December 1990 


Assyriological abbreviations used in ihis volume are those of The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental 
Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD), vol. S. 











Edzard, SRU 












Anchor Bible 

Annali dell'istituto orientali di Napoli 

Australian Journal of Biblical Archaeology 

J.B. Pritchard(ed.),,4/ic7'eflf Near Eastern Texts Relating to theOldTestamenl,3tded., 

Princeton 1969 

Annual Review of the Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia Project 

The Biblical Archaeologist 

Bulletin de correspondance hellenique 

Biblischer Kommentar, Altes Testament 

Cambridge Ancient History 

Catholic Biblical Quarterly 

Corpus Inscripltonum Semiticarum 

Comptes rendus, Acadimie des inscriptions el belles-lettres 

A. Herdner, Corpus des tablelles en cuniiformes alphabetiques dicouvertes a Ras 

Shamra-Ugarit de 1929 a 1939, I— II, Paris 1963 
Einleltung in die assyrtschen Kbnigsinschrlften 

D.O. Edzard, Sumerische Rechtsurkunden des III. Jahrtausends aus der Zeit vor der III. 

Dynastie von Ur, Milnchen 1968 

Eretz Israel 

Frelburger altorientalische Studien 

Gdttinger Miszellen 

Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society of Columbia University 

Journal of Religion 

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 

Journal of Theological Studies 

H. Donner-W. Rflllig, Kanaaniiische und Aramdische Inscripten, 1-3, Wiesbaden 


Kommentar zum Allen Testament 

S.N. Kramer, Sumertan Literary Texts from Nippur in the Museum of the Ancient 

Orient at Istanbul, New Haven 1944 

M. Dietrich, O. Loretz, J. Sanmarlin, Die Keilalphabeiischen Texte aus Ugarll, 

Neukirchen-Vluyn 1976 

D.D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, I— II, Chicago 


Material! epigraftci di Ebla 

Nimrud Letter 

J.V. Kinnier Wilson, The Nimrud Wine Lists, London 1972 

Orlentalia Loveniensia Periodica 

Oriens Antiquus 

Orlentalia Suecana 

Oudtestamentische Studien 

Proceedings of the American Academy of Jewish Research 

Palestine Exploration Fund, Quarterly Statement 



Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three 
years he besieged it. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured 
Samaria and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and 
on the Fl5b6r, the river of G6z5n, and in the cities of Medes. 
... And the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, 'AwwS, Hamath, 
and from Sepharwaim and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people 
of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities. 

(II Kings 17:5-6, 24) 

It is well known that the king who besieged Samaria was Shalmaneser V, and that 
the king who took Samaria was Sargon II; and the year was 722 B.C.E. 1 

It is also known that the resettlement of the subjugated population by the 
Assyrian conquerors from their native land to some other far-away part of the 
empire did not always immediately follow the conquest. Thus the Israelites were 
not deported from Samaria earlier than the year 716/5, because before that the 
Assyrian king had no "cities of the Medes" in his power. 

It is also known that the displaced population in general was mostly resettled 
either in the nuclear part of Assyria, or else removed to a border region where they 
could be entrusted with arms because, for the sake of their own safety, they had to 
defend their townships against the unconquered population, hostile to Assyria. 2 

Halahha was a district in the nuclear part of Assyria, and as such could also be 
regarded, at least by the end of the 8th century B.C.E., the valley of the Habur with 
the city of GuzSna (modern Tell Halfif). But the cities of the Medes were 

The settlers in the towns of conquered Samaria must also have been deported 
from countries recently vanquished by Assyria on some opposite frontier. The 
Babylonians and Cutheans were the victims of Sargon 's first campaign in 722 or 

For brevity's sake, we refer to Luckenbill, ARAB, for the Assyrian sources, not to the original 
and newer text editions. 

For the relation between the two destinations of the deportees see J. Zabtocka.Slosunklagrarne 
wparistwie Sargonlddw, Poznari 1971, chart p. 80. Settlement of captives as frontier guards was 
also practised by the Urartians. Thus ArgiSti I resettled the people of y atti (here: Melitfine) and 
SophenS (probably Proto-Armenians in both cases) to the newly built frontier fortress of Erbune 
at the site of modern Erevan, see I.M. Diakonoff, Pre-Hlslory of the Armenian People, Delmar 
N.Y. 1985, 86. The attestations of this practice in Assyria are quite numerous. 


I.M. Diakonoff 

72 1 ; the Hamathaeans, in 72 1/20; the identification of 'Awwa and Sepharwaim is 
still a crux, but they must obviously also be sought in the countries conquered in 
Sargon's early years. 

In the 9th-8th centuries B.C.E., the termMadai was not applied to the whole of 
the country that was to be called Media after the tribal revolt against Esarhaddon 
in the 670's, and the creation of the Median kingdom under XsaGrita 
(= Phraortes), and then of the Median Empire under HuvaxSGra (= Cyaxares). 3 

The term Amadai (later Madai) first occurs in the days of Shalmaneser III, when 
the Assyrian king led a campaign in 834 into Namar in the Diyala Valley (which 
was entered from Blt-Hamban in the north-east of Namar), and then into Parsua. 
The latter term means "borderland" in Old Iranian, 4 and was applied to different 
"marches" of the Iranian-speaking massif. The Parsua which Shalmaneser III 
entered in 834 has nothing whatever to do (except the name "borderland" itself) 
with Parsa, modern Fars, the homeland of the Persians; no migration from Parsua 
to Pars is attested, and Persians, no doubt, already lived in Fars in the 9th century 
B.C.E. 5 From Parsua, which must have lain somewhere around modern 
Sulaimaniye, Shalmaneser crossed a mountain pass into the land of Messi situated 
apparently in the upper reaches of the Jaghatu river, and from there, across 
another pass, he turned eastwards and entered the land of Amadai, probably 
situated in the upper reaches of the Sefld-rud (Qizil-uzen) Valley, or to the south 
of it, and including, among others, the districts of Aranzia§ and Harhar. 6 

Under SamSI-Adad V, the Assyrians may have reached the Caspian along the 

3 I.M. D'jakonov, Isloria Midii, Leningrad-Moscow 1956, 88; see also I.M. Diakonoff in 
Cambridge History of Iran, II, Cambridge 1984. 

4 Along with Median *Parsava-"?arsu& in the Zagros" and *Pdrsa "F8rs" (also a "Median", not 
Persian form), cf. also Persian Par0ava(< *Parsava) "Parthia", the Parsli somewhere north of 
Media and, according to G. Morgenstierne, the Pdi\6 "Afghans" (< *Parsva-). See J. Pokorny, 
Indogermanisches Elymologisches Wbrterbuch, s.v. *perk'-. Grantovsky's etymology ("those 
who have strong sides/ribs") does not seem satisfactory. 

5 The first reference to Parsaw/mai "FSrs" in cuneiform inscriptions is attested under Samsi- 
Adad V at the end of the 9th century (KAH 142); cf. ABL 1309; then it is mentioned in the annals 
of Sennacherib under 689 (the battle of H alule), and by ASSurbanipal in 639 (E.F. Weidner, "Die 
alteste Nachricht ilber das persische KOnigshaus," A/O 7 (1930- 1932), 1 -7. In all cases the term 
is used with the typical Elamite -s used for Iranian names and proper names of the -X- 
declinations. The context in all cases does not allow an identification with the country (not tribe!) 
of Parsua in the Zagros near Sulaimaniye. The latter cannot be identified with Paswe in Iranian 
Azerbaijan (according to V.F. Minorsky): it is localized near Sulaimaniye because it bordered 
upon Namar in the Diyala Valley, and upon Allabria, Messi, Surdira and other districts 
gravitating towards Manna. A district and fortress Bu5tu(8) (not to be confused with a namesake 
much farther to the east) lay in Parsua" according to the Urartian king ArgiSti I's annals (under 
year 6), but in Manna according to Shalmaneser III, cf. ARAB I, 588, cf.II, 851. There is no 
evidence of a migration of the inhabitants of Parsua in the Zagros to F8rs; cf. note 1 1 below. 
However, the Assyrian texts before Shalmaneser III do not know a country ParsuS at all, and 
what later belonged to Parsua seems to have belonged to Outer Zamua (Inner Zamu5 belonged 
apparently to the later Land of Manna). The use of this Median appellation for this country 
("borderland") seems to point to a movement of the Iranian Medes towards this region not later 
than the 9th century B.C.E. Incidentally, Genesis 10 knows of the Cimmerians (and their 
"descendants" the Scythians) and of Media as an important country, but has no idea of 
Persia— a certain sign of a late 7th-early 6th century date. 

6 The Monolith Inscription, ARAB I, 718ff. 

The Cities of the Medes 


SefTd-rud Valley, and in 820 this king undertook a new campaign against the 
Medes {Madai). After receiving tribute from HubuSkia (near modern Hakkari) 
and the different tribes in the region of Manna (south of Lake Urmia) and in 
Parsua (around Sulaimaniye), SamSl-Adad crossed the passes of Gizilbunda 
(modern Kafelan-Kuh). Against stubborn resistance, he marched through the 
lands of Gizilbunda, Madai (the latter apparently headed by one Hanasiruka, 
chief of Sagbitu, or Blt-Sagbat) and of Arazia§ (which is probably to be located 
near modern Hamadan). Nearly thirty chieftains of the local population in Madai 
and Parsua, as well as in what later was Manna, brought propitiatory gifts to the 
conqueror. In this case, as well as in many similar instances, the pre-Iranian 
proper names and toponyms still prevail, although with time the Iranian element 
became stronger. The land was then still "Qutian," however with a rising 
percentage of an Iranian-speaking population. 7 

Under Adad-nerarl III, no less than nine Assyrian campaigns were directed 
towards the north-east and east between 809 and 788. An inscription, to be dated 
802, shows that the Assyrians claimed to have conquered Ellipi (south of modern 
Kirmansah, later Elymais, not to be confused with Elam = Susiana), Harhar, 
AraziaS (around Hamadan), Messi, the land of the Medes, "all" of Gizilbunda, 
Manna ("Mynna"), ParsuS, Allabria (on the upper reaches of the Lesser Zab), 
Abdadana — unto Andia and apparently the Caspian Sea: all these countries being 
summarized as "Nai'ri." 8 Note that Harhar and AraziaS are here not included in 
the territory of the Medes: they were the borderland between the Medes proper 
and the aboriginal population of the Zagros, who might have belonged to the 
Qutians or Hurrians, or some other non-Iranian tribes. 

This was the sum total of the Assyrian advance to the east in the second part of 
the 9th century. However, all these regions were lost to Assyria when the civil war 
broke out at the end of the reign of Adad-nerarl III. 

The first half of the 8th century B.C.E. was a difficult period in the internal 
history of Assyria; Manna and the neighboring countries as far as Namar 9 were 
being harassed by the Urartian kings, but the Medes west of the Gizilbunda 
mountains enjoyed a respite. A new Assyrian advance began in 744 under Tiglath- 
pileser III when the king invaded ParsuS and turned it into an Assyrian province 
(also known as Nikur, after its capital). The chronology of Tiglath-pileser's reign 
needs elucidation, but possibly in the same year the Assyrians made a raid farther 
to the east, reaching AraziaS, and a Median fortress, Zakruti. Moreover, Tiglath- 
pileser demanded that in the whole country of the mighty Medes as far as Mt. 
Bikni (Demavend), the "lords of townships" (~ Iran, vispati, dahyupati) should 
pay him regular tribute of nine metric tons of lapis lazuli and 15 tons of bronze 
artifacts, an order which the Medes could not possibly fulfil. 

Tiglath-pileser also organized another province in 744, Blt-HambSn (= Iran. 

7 The First Nimrud Slab, ARAB I, 739. 

8 This was a vague term for northern, north-western and north-eastern mountainous countries, 
with no particular ethnic or political connotations. 

9 Probably it was actually Namar which is meant by Babilu- in the Urartian inscriptions. 



Kampanda[?) ', south of the middle reaches of the Diyala). Both Blt-Hamban and 
Parsua continued to be integral parts of the Assyrian Empire until its fall. 10 

For the year 738(?) the annals of Tiglath-pileser mention the deportation of 
"Qutians" (the local aboriginal population of the still not-Iranized valleys of the 
Zagros), and of Bit-Sangi," and their settlement in northern Syria and northern 
Phoenicia, at that time a frontline zone. These displaced persons were no doubt 
taken captive during the campaign of 744; among the numerous ethnic groups 
listed (no less obscure than the 'Awwites and the Sepharwaites of II Kings), there 
are also mentioned the Budians, who (if the reading is correct) could be 
inhabitants of Budu on the border between Babylonia and Elam, or Boudioi, one 
of the Median tribes named by Herodotus. 

Yet another Assyrian campaign to the land of the Medes took place in 737(7), 
but it did not result in any permanent conquest or organization of any new 
Assyrian provinces, in spite of a statement to the contrary in one of Tiglath- 
pileser's inscriptions, the most boastful and least dependable of them all. 12 

The next Assyrian king was Shalmaneser V, but in his reign there were no raids 
into Media. 

Sargon II marched to the east for the first time in 719 in order to give support to 
Iranzu, a king of Manna allied to Assyria, and then again in 716. By that time 
Iranzu was dead, and his son AzS had been killed by his anti-Assyrian vassals. 
Sargon acted immediately, using the most cruel repressions and putting AzS's 
brother Ullusunu on the throne of Manna; Ullusunu, however, was incited by 
anti- Assyrian forces to a fresh rebellion and had to make overtures to Urartu. 
Sargon was still in the field; he crushed the rebels, and Ullusunu, who had acted 
against his better judgement, was reinstated as king of Manna. The former 
Assyrian province ZamuS (Outer ZamuS), east of Arbela and Arraphe (Kirkuk), 
was now extended to the north-east. 

After these actions, Sargon continued his march to the east. He took the 
important fortress of KiSessu on the upper reaches of the Seffd-rud (its ruler bore a 
Babylonian name, which was not quite uncommon in these regions at the time), as 
well as a number of neighboring townships. In the next year, KiSessu was made the 
center of a new Assyrian province. 

Some of the Median population, cut off from Urartu and Manna by Sargon's 
conquests, tried to ally themselves with Ellipi, the half-Iranized kingdom near 
modern KirmSnSSh; Harhar, which had expelled its former chief (with the archaic 
name Kibaba), was taken by Sargon, and in the following year the fortress became 
the center of yet another new Assyrian province, Harhar, which also included 
AranzeSu (= AraziaS) and a number of other Median districts. The fortress was 

10 Cf. ABL 165; ADD 952:3. Also KiSessu, as well as Ni[kur] (- ParsuS), still belonged to 
ASSurbanipal; see E. Forrer, Die Provlnzelntellung des assyrtschen Retches, Leipzig 1921, 52. 

1 1 Bit-Sangi (BIt-Sangibati, not to be confused with Sangibatu near Lake Urmia, nor with Sagbitu 
or Brt-Sagbat in KiSessu, Media) lay probably near Khanikin. It is a dynastic, not properly a 
place name. It is first mentioned by Shalmaneser III in connection with the Namar campaign of 
834, then by Tiglath-pileser in 744 and 737(?) apparently as a city-state in Parsua"; in 715 by 
Sargon in the district of yarhar; in 706, in connection with the revolt of Nib'e in Ellipi (ABL 1 74). 

12 The Second Nimrud Slab of Tiglath-pileser, ARAB I, 81 1. 

The Cities of the Medes 


officially renamed Kar-Sarrukin; we have some letters from its governor at the 
time, Mannu-kl-Ninua (ABL 126-129, 645, 1645; cf. also ABL 556). 

Turning the Harhar district into an Assyrian province induced the population 
to immediate revolt; possibly they expected the usual deportation to other 
countries, and settlement of newcomers in Harhar. The revolt spread to the 
neighboring provinces of Blt-Hamban and Namar, but was put down by Sargon, 
who then exiled many people. The city of Harhar was strongly fortified. Both 
fortresses, KiSessu and Harhar, are depicted on the reliefs of Dur-Sarrukln and 
preserved in Botta's and Flandin's reproductions. 

Thus, in the Zagros region and in the Land of Medes, the Assyrians created five 
provinces, Zamua, Parsua, Blt-Hamban, KiSessu, and Harhar. Although deep 
raids into the Iranian Highland continued throughout the reigns of the 
succeeding Assyrian kings, the administrative boundaries of the Assyrian empire 
were never moved eastwards beyond these five provinces. 13 However, apparently 
under Sennacherib, the provinces of KiSessu and Harhar were subdivided into 
smaller units (known from the texts of the time of Esarhaddon and ASSurbanipal). 
KiSessu was subdivided into KiSessu proper and Madai, and Harhar was 
subdivided into Harhar proper, Saparda, and Blt-KSri; the latter being probably 
identical with KSr-KaSSi. 14 In these provinces, cut out of the Land of the Medes, 
the power of the Assyrian governors outside of the fortified towns was precarious, 
the countryside paying allegiance to their own "lords of townships." It was the 
revolt of these (XSaGrita, or KaStaritu, in KSr-KaSSi, *VahmyatarSi, or 
MamitiarSu, in Madai, and Dusanni in Saparda) which brought about the fall of 
the Assyrian domination in Media in the late 670's, and the creation of the Median 
kingdom by XSaGrita, or Phraortes. 

Thus Media proper, "the cities of Medes," corresponded to the provinces of 
KSr-KaSSi (Blt-K5ri), Madai and Saparda, which, in their turn, had been parts of 
the original Assyrian provinces of KiSessu and Harhar in the late 8th century. 

For the year 721, Sargon's annals mention the resettling of Babylonians "[to the 
land] of Hatti". 15 Now Hatti in official Assyrian parlance of the 8th century 
B.C.E. was any country west of the Euphrates; thus, for Sennacherib, his 
campaign of 701 against Jerusalem, was directed "to Hatti." 16 

For the year 716/5, the Cyprus Stele of Sargon mentions that after the 
inhabitants of conquered Harhar had been deported, men of lands conquered by 
this king were settled there." The conquests of Sargon's early years were: Samaria 
722, Babylonia 721, Hamath 720, Manna 719, Sinuhtu in Asia Minor 718, and 
Carchemish 717. 

13 Of course, there were attempts (e.g., under Esarhaddon) to put certain Median chieftains under 
an oath of allegiance to the Assyrian king, but this did not affect the boundaries of provinces 
actually administered by Assyrian governors. 

14 It is clear that Saparda, Madai and BIt-KSri (= KSr-KaSSi?) were cut out of the provinces of 
KiSessu and yarbar, but it is not certain which of the newer provinces was cut out of which of the 
two older provinces. 

15 ARAB II, 4. 

16 ARAB II, 239-240. 

17 ARAB II, 183. 


I.M. Diakonoff 

Now the Babylonians and Hamatheans were settled in Samaria; the inhabitants 
of the cities conquered in Manna were also settled in Damascus "in the land of 
Hatti;" 18 no deportations seem to have been made in Sinuhtu. Thus, only Samaria 
and Carchemish are left; it was either the Israelites or the inhabitants of 
Carchemish who were deported to Harhar. The testimony of II Kings shows 
conclusively that the former were meant, but perhaps the latter as well. 

Thus the "H» nv of the Bible are Harhar and its neighboring townships. Harhar 
is thought to have been the same as Karahar, a Hurrian city-state of the third 
millennium B.C.E., near enough to Mesopotamia to have been included into the 
great border district headed by the ruler of Laga§ in the latter part of the Ur III 
period. In Assyrian times, the neighbors of Harhar were, to the east and north, 
Kisessu (and later Madai and possibly Kar-Ka§sl), to the south-east, Ellipi, to the 
south-west and west, apparently the Assyrian provinces of Blt-Hamban and 
Parsua. This places Harhar somewhere to the west of the Hamadan-Kirmansah 
line. It probably belonged to the districts later called Syromedia (by Ptolemy VI, 
2.'6), surely on account of its population being partly semitized. 

It is well known that the subsequent history of the "ten tribes" has been the subject 
of the wildest conjectures in antiquity, in the Middle Ages, and up to modern 
times." But it is a safe guess that they merged with the mass of the Aramaic and 
Iranian speaking population of the Assyrian Empire and soon lost their identity. 

In the history of the early Near Eastern empires, beginning with the first of 
them, the Assyrian, we can discern two types of displacement of the captive non- 
combatant population. 

The first type: Most of the population, and especially those who either were 
responsible for the resistance or were unable to survive the deportation, were 
slaughtered in various ways; the rest were led away taking nothing with them, 
often naked, often in shackles, sometimes mutilated or blinded. We see such 
deportation depicted on Shalmaneser Ill's Gates of Balawat. This type of 
treatment of non-combatant captives was typical of the reigns of ASSurnasirpal 
and Shalmaneser III, but was discontinued after the first campaigns of Tiglath- 
pileser III — not, of course, for humanitarian reasons, but because the Assyrians 
could no longer afford to completely lay waste the lands which were to bring 
income into their treasury. 

The second type: The populationi was deported, mostly on foot — though carts 
were also used — but in their own clothes and with a small food supply. 

18 Ibid., ARAB II, 56. 

19 One is, of course, reminded of (he Laller Day Saints. One of the aspirants to being descendants of 
the "ten tribes" are the Tats, an Iranian speaking group in the USSR, on the border between 
Daghcstan and Azerbaijan. The Tats are descendants of the military settlers brought from Iran 
by the Sasanian kings to guard the Derbend Pass from the Khazars and other Turkic peoples and 
tribes; their language is akin to Persian and certainly a descendant of Middle Persian. Some of 
the Tats are Sunni Moslems, and some are of the Judaic persuasion, but, like many peripheral 
Jewish groups, they lack the Talmudic tradition, and may have been converted by the Qaraite 
Khazars; like the Qaraites, they usually do not identify themselves as Jews; they bury their dead 
in the same cemeteries as the Moslem Tats. 

The Cities of the Medes 


Deportation of this sort can be seen on several 7th-century reliefs from Kuyunjik, 
and this is the kind of deportation which was, somewhat optimistically, described 
by the Rab-shakeh of Sennacherib to Hezekiah's subjects: "Thus says the king of 
Assyria: make your agreement of mercy (HD13) with me, and come out to me; then 
every one of you will eat of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and every 
one of you will drink the water of his own cistern; until I come and take you away 
to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and 
vineyards, a land of olive trees and of honey, that you may live and not die..." 
(II Kings 18:31-32; Isa. 36:16-17). 

The deportation of the Israelites, however, took place a generation earlier, at a 
time when Agsurnasirpal's methods were probably not quite forgotten, and the 
land to which they were brought was not as attractive as all that. First of all, it was 
a front-line country which had to be defended by arms for the benefit of the 
Assyrian king. Moreover, a land populated by the deportees automatically 
became royal land, and the new population became royal "settlers" (Saknu), Xaol 
PaoiXiKol, to use the Hellenistic expression, and were not proprietors of their 
land. People from different countries and of different tongues were intermixed 
here. Thus, in Harhar there would surely have been, beside the Israelites, people of 
Iranian tongue, Aramaeans, "Qutians," Assyrians, and possibly Luwians from 
Carchemish. A cadastre was made of the population and its means of sustenance. 
Cf., e.g., in the "Harran Doomsday Book" the cadastre of the (childless!) 
Aramaic Gambuleans deported there in the 7th century B.C.E. from the lower 
reaches of the Tigris. 20 

Under such conditions the only reasonable way to survive was to find a 
common language with the other settlers (that would obviously have been 
Aramaic); to intermarry (a number of Israelite women would probably have been 
taken away and sold by the soldiers); to serve the king of Assyria as para-military 
frontier guards; and to do the forced labor required by the empire. It is most 
important to remember that the Israelite exiles to Harhar had not listened even to 
the First Isaiah, let alone the Second Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. For them, 
although their God must have been considered the great tribal god of Israel who 
had settled them in the Promised Land, the idea had not yet prevailed, that the 
gods of other tribes were not the lords of their particular countries, but were to be 
identified with the stuff of which their images were made; it was but natural to 
worship the deities of the new country where one had been settled. This was just 
what the Babylonians, Cutheans and Hamatheans did in Samaria; they 
apparently tried to keep their own deities, too, but the author of II Kings does not 
even know their correct names. The same must have happened to the "ten tribes." 
Was not one of the followers of Ezra (2:2; Neh. 7:7) even called Mordecai (= 
Mardukdia)! The cults of Marduk and IStar are attested for the Zagros and even 
for Transcaucasia in the 8th-6th centuries, and would it not have been deemed 
misplaced to found a sanctuary to the God of Israel in the midst of an entirely 
different country? The "ten tribes" had no experience of a diaspora, and the 
synagogue had not yet been invented. 
20 F.M. Fales, Censimenti, No. 21 = Johns, Doomsday Book, 63. 


/. M. Diakonoff 

Because of all this, the "ten tribes" were doomed to assimilation among the 
Aramaic and Iranian speaking mass of the population of the Assyrian empire. The 
Israelites of the "ten tribes," described by the patently Judaic Book of Tobit and 
other late texts as still prospering in the Median Empire, are phantoms in the 
author's imagination. 

The Babylonian exile of Judah belonged to the second type of deportation; and 
actually the conditions were more favorable than in the case of the "ten tribes;" 
they were very much as described by the Rab-shakeh in II Kings and Isaiah. The 
Judaeans were not deported to a devastated frontline country. Not everybody was 
deported: the first to be exiled were "(the king) Jehoiachin ..., and his mother, and 
his servants... and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor — ten thousand 
captives — and all the craftsmen and smiths" (II Kings 24: 12- 14). It seems that the 
Babylonians were not interested in resettling the poor of the pxn DV, who were 
many times as numerous. This means that Nebuchadnezzar did not want manual 
workers, nor men who could serve as privates in the army. It is true that the 
general Nabu-zer-iddin led away also "the rest of the people who were left in the 
city, and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, with the rest of the 
multitude" (II Kings 25:11), but they were not so much inhabitants of the 
countryside as they were of the city of Jerusalem. 

There certainly must have been losses during the deportation, especially among 
the children (hence Ps. 1 37:9). But we know that Jehoiachin was kept as hostage at 
the king's court, and received sustenance from the palace (which was more than 
could be said of many a king captured by the Assyrians). Nobody was enslaved, 
and it is probable that the "men of valor" and the "craftsmen and smiths" were 
not being ill treated, at least according to the notions of the time: they had kept 
their harps to hang upon the willows by the rivers of Babylon (Ps. 137)! The fate of 
most deportees in modern times has been considerably worse. Note, too, that 
completely impoverished groups of people could not have undertaken the costly 
return journeys under Zerubbabel and Ezra. 

The book of Ezra states that the edict of Cyrus contained a provision to the 
following effect: "And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted 
by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides 
the freewill offerings for the house of YHWH God of Israel..." (Ezra 1:4), and that 
"... all who were about them aided them..." (Ezra 1 :6). In the context, it looks as if 
the local Babylonians were ordered to help the repatriates. But even if that were 
true, the repatriates could hardly rely on the Babylonians' charity alone (or even 
on the charity of their compatriots whom they left behind), especially since the 
exact amount of the help required was apparently not stated. 

But, of course, the whole socio-psychological situation was here quite different 
from that of the 8th century, and the repatriation was viewed as a great religious 
duty. Note that neither Zerubbabel nor Ezra made any attempt to find the "ten 
tribes" and to repatriate them, although some of their descendants may have still 
kept their identity, if not in Media, then perhaps in Halahha or in GuzSna. But 
most of them must have irrevocably merged with the local population, and 
anyway may not have been esteemed religiously worth redeeming. 



Assyrian rule in Phoenicia began in 738 B.C.E. 1 It lasted until the Assyrians 
withdrew from the countries west of the Euphrates sometime between 
Assurbanipal's last recorded campaign to the west around 640, 2 and his death in 
629 or 627 B.C.E. 3 In contrast with most of the other kingdoms in Syria and 
Palestine which were conquered and eliminated, the Phoenician kingdoms of 
Tyre, Byblos and Arvad continued to exist during Assyrian rule. In fact, their 
survival persisted through the period between the Assyrian retreat and 
Nebuchadnezzar's victorious campaigns to Syria and Palestine in 605 and 604 
B.C.E. 4 and beyond, even into the period of Babylonian and Persian domination 
of Phoenicia . Only the kingdom of Sidon was destroyed in a late phase of Assyrian 
domination (677(?) B.C.E.), but it was re-established in the inter-imperial period 
or early in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. In an oracle relating to the 4th year of 
Zedekiah (Jer. 28:1; 594 B.C.E.), Jeremiah mentions a "king of Sidon" (Jer. 
27:2-28:16), and a king of Sidon is enumerated among the vassal-kings in an 
inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II (see pp. 29-31). 

The special status of the Phoenician kingdoms within the Mesopotamian 
empires, and in particular within the Assyrian from which we have the bulk of the 
documentary information, becomes obvious when compared with the status of 
their neighbors. It is also evident in imperial economic policy toward the 
Phoenician kingdoms as opposed to the other vassal states. 

According to inscriptions and documents of the Neo-Assyrian empire, the 
importation of commodities to Assyria from vassal kingdoms was, in fact, carried 
out by the transfer of articles from the vassal lands as tribute {biltu, maddatu, and 
biltu (u) maddatu) and obligatory presents (ndmurtu). 5 The tribute lists in the royal 
inscriptions usually recorded: precious and basic metals; luxury commodities that 
had been stored in the treasuries of the vassal kings and which were the chief items 
of international trade in the ancient Near East; horses for the Assyrian cavalry; 

1 Rost, Tigl. Ill, 26:150-157; H. Tadmor, Scripla Hlerosolymttana 8 (1961), 232-271; M. 
Weippert, ZDPV 89 (1973), 26-53. 

2 Streck, Asb., 80 ii 115-128. 

3 R. Borger, WZKM 55 (1959), 69-76; W. von Soden, ZA 58 (1967), 60-70. 

4 Grayson, Chronicles, no. 5:12-23. 

5 For these terms, see W.J. Martin, StOr 8/1 (1936); Postgate, Taxation, 111-130, 146-162.